Mississippi woman missing for days found after spelling out S.O.S. with rocks

(Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks)

SAN FRANCISCO — “S.O.S” spelled out with rocks saved a woman missing in a national park for days, according to a release from the National Park Service.

Mary Joanna Gomez, 56, of Mississippi, was found alive and safe in Sequoia National Park after her disappearance sparked a major search operation, the release said.

Gomez was visiting California’s Bay Area on assignment as a traveling nurse.

On Oct. 23, her day off, she visited Kings Canyon National Park, and the next day she texted her daughter pictures of the scenery, the release said.

But she missed her shift Friday, prompting her family to report her missing to the San Francisco Police Department.

A search began, with the National Park Service placing her in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park on Saturday morning, according to the release. Search teams, search dogs and aircraft all took part in the effort.

Then on Monday, a California Air National Guard aircraft spotted the message spelled out with rocks on the ground. Teams on foot were able to track down Gomez about three and a half miles from her vehicle over steep and rocky terrain, the release said.

She was “cold, thirsty and hungry, but in otherwise good health,” the release said.

She’s in contact with her family again and will be reunited shortly, NPS said.

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